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New Orleans Saints announce practice squad moves, waiver claims

Saints claimed DE Obum Gwacham and LB Michael Mauti off waivers

The New Orleans Saints have made the following roster moves, it was announced by the club Sunday, Sept. 6. In 53-man roster transactions, the team has claimed DE Obum Gwacham off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks and LB Michael Mauti from the Minnesota Vikings, terminated the contract of S Kenny Phillips and waived DT Ashaad Mabry. The team signed WR R.J. Harris, G/T Sean Hickey, WR Seantavius Jones, G Cyril Lemon, TE Chris Manhertz, FB Toben Opurum and CB Sammy Seamster to the practice squad. The club also reached an injury settlement and waived LB Ronald Powell. The roster moves were announced by Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.

Gwacham (pronounced oh-BOOM GWAH-chem), 6 feet 5, 249 pounds, was a sixth-round choice (209th overall) of the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 out of Oregon State. After redshirting in 2010, he played on offense his first three seasons for the Beavers, before transitioning from wide receiver to a defensive end for his redshirt senior campaign. As a reserve defensive end in 2014, he recorded 28 tackles (17 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and one forced fumble. Gwacham is a native of Onitsha, Nigeria, who moved to the United States with his family at seven years old.

Mauti, 6-2, 243, was originally a seventh round draft choice (213th overall) of the Vikings in 2013 out of Penn State. In two seasons in Minnesota, the former Mandeville High School standout played in 23 games and posted two defensive tackles and 17 special teams stops. In 2014, he appeared in nine games and made four special teams tackles. He is the son of former Saints wide receiver and special teams standout Rich Mauti, who enjoyed an eight-year NFL career, including spending seven years with New Orleans from 1977-83.

Harris, 6-0, 194, was a four-year letterman at the University of New Hampshire. He played in all 14 games for the Wildcats as a senior and recorded a school-record 100 receptions for 1,551 yards (15.5 avg.) with 15 touchdowns, earning AP FCS first-team All-American honors. Harris was the FCS individual leader in receiving yardage. In his four-year UNH career, he compiled 310 catches for 4,328 yards and 36 touchdowns as the school's and Colonial Athletic Association all-time leader in receptions and second on both lists in receiving yardage. His 36 TDs rank second in program history and fourth in the CAA. On the NCAA FCS career leaderboard, Harris is fourth in both receptions and receiving yards. In the preseason, Harris had one reception for six yards for the Saints.

Hickey, 6-6, 306, was signed by New Orleans as a free agent following the 2015 NFL draft following a college career where he was a three-year starter for Syracuse, settling in at left tackle as a junior. He was the only offensive lineman to play in every game for the Orange in 2014, starting all 12 games and was an All-ACC Coaches and Phil Steele Third Team selection.

Jones, 6-3, 200, originally signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State in 2014. After spending most of his rookie season on the New Orleans practice squad, he was elevated to the 53-man roster for the last three contests. In the 2015 preseason, Jones appeared on both offense and special teams and recorded three receptions for 37 yards.

Lemon, 6-3, 315, is a New Orleans native who attended high school in Marble Falls, Texas. He was signed by New Orleans out of North Texas following the 2015 NFL Draft and participated in the entire preseason for the club. Lemon spent four years on the offensive line for the Mean Green where he received several honors including Conference USA All-Conference and All-Sun Belt team selections while serving as a team captain in 2014. Playing both guard and tackle in his career, Lemon was a vital cog in the offensive front on a unit that set a school record for total yards in a season with 5,336 in 2013.

Manhertz, 6-6, 255, is a New York City native who played basketball exclusively at Canisius for four years from 2010-13. After spending the entire 2015 offseason and part of training camp with the Buffalo Bills, he was signed by New Orleans in the middle of the preseason.

Opurum, 6-1, 250, joined the Saints practice squad for the final three weeks of the 2014 season and then spent the entire offseason and preseason with the club where he contributed both on offense and on special teams. After playing both running back and linebacker at Kansas from 2009-12 and serving as a team captain as a senior, Opurum was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, spending the majority of his rookie season on their practice squad, before ending the campaign on the 53-man roster of the Houston Texans.

Seamster, 6-0, 205, first joined the Saints off of waivers last Tuesday from the Dolphins, for who he played in two games in 2014, after being originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens following the 2014 NFL Draft as a free agent out of Middle Tennessee State. In college, he played in 44 career games with 10 starts and recorded 69 tackles (50 solo), three tackles for loss, one interception, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one pass defensed.

Associated Press photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Green Bay Packers game on Thursday, September 3, 2015.

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